Saturday, April 17, 2021

#2,554. Southbound (2015)


A horror anthology, Southbound features five separate yet intertwining stories.

Over the course of a single day, a group of people - including two criminals (Chad Villella and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin), an all-female rock band (Fabianne Therese, Hannah Marks, and Nathalie Love), a guy making his way home (Mather Zickel), a brother (David Yow) trying to track down his long-lost sister, and a family (Gerald Downey, Kate Beehan, and Hassie Harrison) on vacation - will come face-to-face with their worst nightmares as they travel a lonely stretch of desert highway.

Unlike many horror anthologies, Southbound has no framing story; a radio DJ (voiced by Larry Fessenden) ushers in each new segment. The element that links these tales is the highway itself, surrounded on all sides by the desert, a grim reminder to the film’s characters that they are all alone, cut off from the rest of the world, and nobody is coming to save them.

Each segment is strong; things get off to a wild start with The Way Out, directed by Radio Silence, and even though we have no idea who the criminals are or what they’re running from, it’s shot in such a way that the audience is kept on-edge the entire time. This is followed by director Roxanne Benjamin’s Siren (the female rock band), which leads into David Bruckner’s The Accident, arguably the most unsettling of the film’s segments (a scene set inside an abandoned hospital is absolutely nerve-racking), which leads into Patrick Horvath’s violence-fueled Jailbreak before wrapping this up with The Way In, again directed by Radio Silence, bringing the movie full-circle.

There isn’t a weak story in the bunch; each will creep you out in its own special way, and leave you wanting more. Southbound is a horror anthology that will surely stand the test of time.
Rating: 9 out of 10

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